There’s a lot of chatter about gaining weight during our quarantine period, and especially for those who are working from home. 

This can be a REAL problem for many of us.  I’ve worked out of my home for several years, and one thing I’ve learned is I simply can’t have a food that is less than healthy for me around.  The food learns my name and calls to me!

However, with families also at home all day, it might be harder to make the healthiest choices in foods. Stress is rampant right now, and when we’re stressed, our bodies crave easy burning carbohydrates.  Carbohydrates fuel our feel-good neuro transmitters and hormones, and our bodies are smart!  The body wants sugar!  We want to feel satisfied!  Easy burning carbs are simple sugars, like breads, crackers, candy.

Some tips and things that work for me:

  • Relax about your food intake. Stressful time is not the time to start a new diet, eating fad or starve yourself.  Rather, tell yourself you are going to make the best choices you can right now.
  • I normally advocate eating three meals a day. Science shows this is the best way to help your body perform optimally.  BUT! We’re in a strange mode right now.  So, if you find yourself wanting to snack a lot, think about eating 6-7 “meals” each day, which might help alleviate the snacks you are craving. Those meals will be smaller, but it might help you stop snacking and start eating.
  • Make your snacks healthful ones, with a carbohydrate thrown in once or twice a day. Put lots of fruits and veggies on your counter where you can see them.  Make some air-popped popcorn, put good organic butter on it, and put it in bags for when you want crunch.  Cut up veggies and do the same bag trick.  You can grab one, keep it by your laptop, and when it’s empty, it’s empty!
  • This leads to a great tip! Portion your food.  I love, love, love any kind of nut.  But I could eat the entire bag or container without knowing it! So, I put my servings into a bag or cup, and when it’s gone, I’m done.  This really works!
  • S-A-V-O-R your snacks. You might be eating them while pounding out an email, but chew, chew, chew.  Think about how good the food tastes, and even think about its fiber, texture, color.  This will slow you down in your snacking and you’ll fill up faster.
  • Try to recognize when you are full. When you grab a snack, eat about half of it.  Then evaluate if you want the second half.  If you do, go ahead and eat it.  If you feel full, put it away for the next snack attack.
  • While you may need snacks for your family right now, if they are treacherous for you, tell your family you’re putting them out of the way. Stash the bags of chips in your basement.  Put the candy bars somewhere in your garage – even in the trunk of your car.  If you have to work a little harder for the snack, you might not eat it after all.
  • Add activity to part of your work-at-home day! I see many people walking in my neighborhood from my kitchen window.  Get outside, and work off some of the extra snacks. 
  • Give yourself a treat! Everyone is trying their best to navigate our current circumstances, so go ahead and have a treat once a day.  Tell yourself it’s a treat and enjoy it.

Do your best, enjoy your time at home as much as you can, and keep your vitality strong!

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